This is a fair conclusion, and is not unexpected.
Wednesday night's loss saw the Pacers fall victim to the dominance of LeBron James.
But this is a very different team. "We want to go 2-0 but we did our job and got one". Tristran Thompson has played a grand total of 1:59 of a possible 96 minutes. George Hill has 13. Lue refused to reveal his lineup changes two hours before tip, saying by doing so he would give the Pacers - or any team in the postseason - and advantage. They have been eager for this moment on the national stage for quite some time.
During their last five games, the Pacers have scored an average of 96.8 points per game (8.6 below their season average) and allowed an average of 101.6 points per game (2.2 below their season average). He grabbed 12 of their 30 rebounds. "He made some tough shots". And yet the Pacers had a chance to force overtime in the final seconds.
Prior to the playoffs, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said he envisioned using a deep, 10-man bench for the playoffs, which would seemingly make Thompson, a member of the Cavs' last four Finals runs, an option off the bench, especially with his playoff experience.
If Cleveland wins this series, it's because LeBron got help. And is that player, whoever he is from night to night, that much better than the 13th-best player on the roster?
Love, who suffered a left thumb injury but is good to go Friday, is in a new spot as the second option. "They put shooters on the perimeter, and LeBron was going to put his head down and go to the basket".
Game three will be played with heavy hearts on Thursday after the San Antonio Spurs announced the passing of Gregg Popovich's wife on Wednesday. Assuming he doesn't replicate that in Game 3, someone else must step up, and his name is Kevin Love.
Is the moment too big for all the new Cavs? He said "It's important to me to try to compete for a championship every year". In two games, Victor Oladipo has exposed his talent to the world, averaging 27 points, 5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 3 steals per game.
This year with the Pacers, he is The Guy. He didn't pout, slap the scorer's table, or mumble his way through his press conference. Literally, I just missed. "If I had that look again, I would take it every time". And he moved on. Game 2 of the IN series saw Cleveland's bench only scoring a combined 16 points out of 100, with James registering 46 of them. They weren't almost as explosive, they lacked some spunk, and fell behind 18 points. Oladipo still says the team is feeling confident. Without one, you're not going anywhere. The Pacers dominated in game 1, but couldn't do the same in back to back games. He's not a foul-happy player, only fouling out once in his five years in this league.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic seal Monte Carlo progression
Muller saved the first match point with a strong serve but lost to the imposing German on the next with a double fault. Nishikori returned from injury in February, after a torn tendon in his right wrist ruled him out of last year's U.S.
The Pacers rank second in points off turnovers per game (18.3) while the Cavaliers rank 19th (16.2).
"Them being aggressive is something we expected", Pacers coach Nate McMillan said.
The Cavs are trying trap Vic, sending to and three guys.
Love said X-rays were negative and he expects to play Game 3. Lebron blatantly pushed Lance to the ground and nothing was called. While it was fun to watch for one game, you can't expect LeBron to do everything offensively at this stage of his career. He attempted - and made - more than the Pacers as a team. They've shown me nothing to change my mind. He made 8-of-9 attempts last game. With DeMar DeRozan leading the way, this one could be over quickly unless the Wizards figure out how to play a little defense, particularly on the perimeter. It was the 20th time James has scored at least 40 in the playoffs. Asked about where things stand right now, PG John Wall said: "I'm just always cool". He's also strategic. But Indiana can't let itself get caught up in that game. The Cavaliers shot 38.5 percent, 23.5 percent from outside in Game 1 and lost.
Dazzling from the start, James scored the game's first 16 points and had 29 at halftime, ruling the floor as he has done in so many previous postseasons.
Pacers go up 2-1 in the series.
Love has managed to hit five threes in the two games.
The Pacers need Bojan Bogdanovic to be a reliable threat. He endured his first injury-marred season in the National Basketball Association, missing 29 games due to a calf muscle injury and his most recent ankle sprain.
The gap between the Pacers and Cavaliers can not be that wide, though.